Martha or Mary?

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Is it possible to be a contemplative in active life?

Is it possible to live a life of service to others, or merely in the course of life to serve others and yet enter into intimate conversation with God.

Is it possible to combine the best aspects of Martha and Mary?

Mary had the "One thing necessary" however, Martha shows us that faith without works is dead. Often maligned, I don't think it is a question of either or. Rather both/and. However, if a person is not called to straddle this boundary the better way is Mary's.

The Lay Carmelite apostolate exists in large part to say that you can live the life of a normal person in (but not of) the world and still respond to God's invitation to intimacy. But, by the fact that not everyone is a Lay Carmelite, we can conclude that the specifics of this vocation are not for everyone. It is safe to say that the Lay Carmelite apostolate, as the apostolate of the Carmelite Friar is to serve as example--to show the world that what they think impossible is not only possible, but blessed.

Not everyone is called to be a Carmelite, but everyone is invited to the intimacy of the Father. And the vast majority of the forty-or-so regular readers of this blog are people who lead active lives with careers, children, and all of the concomittant busyness that goes with an active life.

How then does one "make the time" to spend in contemplation. Once again, we come back to the theme of the past few days. One need merely want to. The desire to show God some measure of the love that He showers on each of us must be more than a back-of-the-mind thing. When God becomes a priority in life, intimacy is possibility.

It only makes sense. When we wish to grow closer to our spouses and loved ones, we make time to be with them--to play games, watch movies, converse. So too, when we want to grow closer to God, one finds a way to make time for Him.

Following on St. Teresa's comment from yesterday--God will never give us as little as we desire. If we want just a little bit to love and serve Him, He will make it possible in ways we cannot even imagine. If we want just a little bit of His life, He will give it to us entirely,

It is all a simple matter of desire, or reordering our priorities until God shuffles to the top in more than our speech. It is simple, but it is not easy. As with "the Little Way" of St. Therese--it is simple, but it is not easy. But didn't Jesus say, "My yoke is easy, my burden light?" Is it not possible that in the course of life He will bless us with possibility and opportunity?

The way is simple and the means easy when one resorts to all means of grace. God will make the path easier, we must respond by walking it.

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December 14, St. John of the Cross

A happy Feastday to Steven/JuandelaCruz, all Carmelites and all lovers of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ!

Steven, I have been reading Brother Lawrence's The Practice of the Presence of God. In addition to making time for God, I'm trying to make my every task and moment a simple prayer and offering. It is very hard as I keep forgetting, but it is inspiring to live as Brother Lawrence lived, a life of constant and simple prayer. God bless you!



About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on December 13, 2005 9:22 AM.

How Do We Train Desire? was the previous entry in this blog.

A Feast/A Fast--St. John of the Cross is the next entry in this blog.

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